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Modulus of Elasticity Testing

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Modulus of Elasticity or 'Young's Modulus' is a measurement of the rate of change of strain as a function of stress. With respect to tensile testing, it may be referred to as Tensile Modulus. It represents the slope of the linear portion of a stress-strain curve.

A tensile test, also known as tension test, is probably the most fundamental type of mechanical test you can perform on material. Tensile tests are simple, relatively inexpensive, and fully standardized. By pulling on something, you will very quickly determine how the material will react to forces being applied in tension. As the material is being pulled, you will find its strength along with how much it will elongate.
This method of testing is used to determine a sample's behavior under an axial stretching load. Common tensile test results include elastic limit, tensile strength, yield point, yield strength, elongation, and Young's Modulus. Young's Modulus is reported commonly as N/mm2 (lbs/in2), MPA (psi).

A stiff material such as a diamond has a high Young's modulus and changes its shape only slightly under an elastic load. A flexible material such as rubber has a low Young's modulus and changes its shape considerably. A stiff material requires high loads to elastically deform it - not to be confused with a strong material, which requires high loads to permanently deform or break it. The stiffness of a component means how much it deflects under a given load. This depends on the Young's modulus of the material, but also on how it is loaded (tension, or bending) and the shape and size of the component. Specific stiffness is Young's modulus divided by density (but should more properly be called "specific modulus").

Stiffness is important in designing products which can only be allowed to deflect by a certain amount (e.g. bridges, bicycles, furniture). Stiffness is important in springs, which store elastics energy (e.g. vaulting poles, bungee ropes). In transport applications (e.g. aircraft, racing bicycles) stiffness is required at minimum weight. In these cases materials with a large specific stiffness are best.


TEST STANDARDS:
ASTM E111 Standard Test Method for Young’s Modulus, Tangent Modulus, and Chord Modulus